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Wed May 27, 2020, 07:46 PM

It's Official: Trump Is the Most Anti-Conservation President in History

An analysis finds that the administration has worked to weaken safeguards for nearly 35 million acres.

. . .

Environmentalists, outdoor sporting groups and even a great-grandson of Roosevelt himself have repeatedly blasted the Trump administration for invoking and comparing itself to the 26th president. And a new analysis from the Center for American Progress shows just how wildly off the mark the administration is.

By the numbers, Trump is the most “anti-nature” president in US history, the left-leaning think tank found.

“If the Trump administration aspires to build upon Teddy Roosevelt’s conservation legacy, they may want to consider stopping their attacks on the very system of public lands that Roosevelt helped build,” said Jenny Rowland-Shea, CAP’s senior public lands policy analyst and a co-author of the report. “The numbers reveal an administration that has handed extractive industries access to public lands at a scope and scale we’ve never seen before.”

Trump is the only president to strip protections from more acres of public land than he’s protected, according to the analysis. The administration has weakened or is in the process of rolling back protections for nearly 35 million acres of federal land, an area roughly the size of Florida.

That includes slashing protections for 10 million acres of greater sage grouse habitat in seven Western states to allow energy and mineral development; a directive to greenlight logging on more than 9 million acres of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, the planet’s largest remaining intact temperate rainforest; and carving more than 2 million acres from a pair of protected national monuments in Utah―Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante―the largest rollback of national monuments in US history.

The 35 million acre figure does not include the more than 24 million acres of public lands that the Trump administration has offered at auction to oil and gas drillers or its controversial offshore drilling plan that could open up nearly all US waters―some 1.5 billion acres―to fossil fuel development.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has protected via executive action less than 37,000 acres, CAP found. That includes the administration’s extension of a mining ban on 30,000 acres in Zinke’s home state of Montana, in an area just north of Yellowstone National Park.

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